The Things She Carries

phone

For me, one of the marks of a great interview is when I think about it long afterward. The most recent one to do it for me was a Vogue video Q&A with New York’s ultimate sweetheart: Sarah Jessica Parker. The interviewer fired off 73 questions while SJP gave a mini-tour of her West Village brownstone. The decorating voyeur in me loved every bit of it; from the footage, SJP’s home felt homey and eclectic. It got me thinking: Our homes can tell our stories even more than our outfits–and sometimes, even ourselves. If someone stopped by my apartment with a video camera, how would I want them to feel? I’d hope bright and cozy, surrounded by books and bits from my travels.

My favorite question was when the interviewer asked SJP what the coolest thing was in her living room. She said her (agreeably, very cool) light-up globes. Of course, that inspired me to look around to decide what the coolest thing is in my living room. It was a hard decision—after all (most likely to the dismay of my clutter-free mother…sorry, Mom!) I don’t think of keepsakes as kitsch; instead, I see them as relics, reminders of the moments in our lives that might otherwise get lost in the shuffle. In my living room, I’ve got everything from a Beyonce concert photo book (“Heeyyy, Ms. Carter!”) to a flag from my first adult trip to Puerto Rico—not to mention shelves and tables full of books. But in the end, I realized my answer to the “coolest thing” question would be the vintage rotary phone I found at an antique shop in Hoboken. It sits atop a stack of books on my desk, and I often look at it while I’m writing and wonder who might’ve used it almost a century ago. It reminds me that beautiful things are timeless, and will last long after we’re gone.

It might be time for spring-cleaning, but I, for one, am holding on to all my mementos. If someone wandered into your apartment or house, how would you want them to feel? What would you tell them is the coolest thing?

 

 

Girls…We Run This Mutha’…


image courtesy of collegecandy.com

So instead of a long ramble about all the things that have kept me from posting this past year (late nights at work, writer’s block, Mad Men marathons on Netflix) I’m just going to dive in to posting again (thanks, Channing, for the motivation—I’ve missed this space!)

On a blog about being a 20-something living in New York, I basically have no choice but to write about the phenomenon that is HBO’s show Girls. I was reluctant at first to give in to the peer pressure, as it was hyped to be a new, hipstery version of Sex and the City, with (yet again) no brown faces. But after a few weeks of hearing a co-worker gush constantly about the story lines and her love for the characters, I decided to give it a shot.

Two hours later, I had watched four episodes and was dying for more. Every Sunday night I checked HBO Go (thanks, Dad, for letting me mooch off your account!) to see if the latest episode was up. The season finale aired last week, and I felt a sudden emptiness knowing it was over. Beyond the hype, the series is undeniably hilarious and realistic. Case in point: in one episode, the main character, Hannah, finds out she has HPV and, after discussing the diagnosis with her friends (including the guy she’s sleeping with) she finds herself at home, depressed and trying to think of something clever to say on Twitter. She then puts on Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” and busts into a random, awkward solo dance session. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself dancing alone in my apartment to a sugary pop song to make myself feel better.

The show’s biggest criticism has been its lack of diversity. But to me, it doesn’t matter. Yes, Hannah the main character and her three friends are all white, but I thought that as a culture, we’d agreed upon the fact that most people hang out with people that look like them in like, 1990. Time to get over it. I didn’t even think about it as I was watching the show because, no matter your background, every girl can relate to dating the guy that says awkward things in bed, or scouring through Facebook for hours when your ex gets a new girlfriend, or having that one friend who has an unhealthy obsession with SATC.

And then there’s the realistic portrayal of living in New York as a young person on a barely-there salary: Asking your parents to help you make rent, ending up at a random warehouse party in Brooklyn, falling asleep on the subway and waking up at Coney Island. The writing is so smart and witty that I both love and hate the show’s creator, Lena Dunham, simply because she took the average girl’s life, made it into a show, and is now on her way to being a television and Hollywood darling—at only 26. Why didn’t I think of that?! Hate aside, I just read that they’ve wrapped up shooting season 2. I’m already ready for Girls to return—maybe by next season, I’ll be able to afford watching it on the actual HBO channel rather than my laptop.